Went out today to haul the spider crab nets. Caught about 30kg from about one mile of nets so still not much moving after that turbulent easterly wind last week. All the other inshore boats are reporting the same thing i.e very poor returns be it from nets, hand lines or pots. One boat reported doing 70 pots today for only six crabs whilst another boat hauled three tiers of mackerel nets for only one mackerel!
Source : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article
In other news ......... you may have seen the sad report today of the Mobula Rays washed up on a Palestinian beach? To read more please click here
Sunday 24th Feb
First light saw us leave harbour and head SE into a very moody looking sky. The plan was to put out our new nets that we have been making lately and then to haul some nets that we put out overnight that are primarily aimed at flatfish.
Just as we finished hauling the flatfish nets we had a visit from the inshore lifeboat who were looking for a 30ft trawler who had fouled her propellor 2 miles south of Mousehole Island.
Fortunately it wasn't us that they were looking for and they were soon on their way.
I simply cannot articulate how highly I respect these guys. I get the option to stay in the harbour in bad weather - these guys have to put their lives on the line in the most atrocious conditions!
Knowing that they are just a call away is very reassuring.
To read more about the Penlee Lifeboat please see their website http://www.penleelifeboat.org.uk
A nice 1.5kg Plaice
Our flatfish catch today was a good mix of Dabs, Plaice and a less well known variety of flatfish called a Witch.
Monday 25th Feb
Landed the spider crabs today ( that nice lobster had sadly died) and spent the rest of the day performing boat maintenance and setting more larger meshed nets.
In other news........." High Fearnley-Whittingstall on Westminster fish "march"........to see the video and to read more then please see
Finally managed to get out to sea today after a week of bad weather. Conditions were good with an ENE wind blowing at around a Force 3/4 but with bitingly cold temperatures.
Today's job was to haul up the shellfish nets that target crab, lobster and crayfish.
It was good to see a couple of crayfish come up in the nets but unfortunately they were undersized.
A list of Cornwall IFCA's minimum sizes for both fish and shellfish can be accessed Here
No option then but for us to return them unharmed back into the sea. It was quite pleasing actually to watch them both swim back towards the sea bed.
We did manage to catch the odd lobster though.
We caught plenty of spider crabs too which will have to be kept in our storepots for the weekend until the shellfish merchants open again on Monday morning.
Another day lost to bad weather. An average wind speed today of 35 m.p.h with gusts to 48 m.p.h and the temperature just hit the floor didn't it? Biting cold in that wind today! ( Rumour has it that the wind is meant to drop in strength over the next two days but I'm just going to whisper that just in case.......)
So, it meant another day of cutting out old nets and putting in new ones. We are still setting larger meshed nets which are aimed at the bigger species. Thirteen hours put in today! It will all be worth it come the summer months though.
Anyone have a cure for wind please? Today's weather was again dominated by the wind which gusted to 62 m.p.h and blew a steady Force 10 all day -
I think the maximum gust recorded so far for February 2013 is 68 m.p.h
The "wonderful" weather of course made it impossible for us to even think about going to sea.
So,today was spent making another new net which is aimed at larger species such as Ray, Monkfish ,Turbot and Brill. The mesh size of this net is 10.5 inches.
Mesh sizes are measured "knot to knot" - Re: photo:horizontally in this case and with the "diamond" shape of the mesh closed completely. The photo shows the diamond shaped mesh in a semi-open position and the measurements still read 8". These type of nets only catch the bigger aforementioned species as it can easily be seen that smaller species, such as Mackerel for instance, will be able to easily swim through the net.
More gales today which meant yet another day lost to bad weather. Had a look back over the weather charts provided by http://www.landsendweather.info and it seems that the wind has been blowing at 30 m.p.h or over for 21 of the last 30 days. It really has seen lean times for small boat fishermen.
Today has seen us buying more second hand lead rope from a fellow fisherman and we are now in the process of setting new nets into that rope.
Another day of poor weather with the wind touching Force 7 at times from an ESE direction - the forecast had promised us a reasonable Force 4 for the day but no such luck! So after getting up at 5-30am and going to the harbour "for a look" and to check on the boat ( this means pumping any water out from the bilges of the boat and checking and re-fastening her mooring ropes) we carried on with making new nets and repairing or stripping out old ones.
The evening was spent "pleasantly" updating our accounts. Tomorrow's weather and indeed the weather for the next week is still looking very windy.
The gales persisted again today so we spent our day cutting out old nets to replace with new nets. The forecast is looking bleak for the next week at least with the wind from the E and very strong at times too. Temperatures are set to fall rapidly as the week progresses. Tomorrow is looking by far the best day of the week weather wise and it may be our only chance to get out to sea for a while.
A very windy day today with the wind speed recorded by http://www.landsendweather.info as being from the ESE at around 44 m.p.h. It has been a very windy month so far with the majority of the available days being lost to bad weather.
Our next available day at sea is looking to be next Monday afternoon at the earliest.
Wow! That was a long day yesterday! Left the house just after 5am to go down to the boat in Newlyn.
Obviously very dark on arrival in Newlyn as we made our way down the walkway that connects the harbour to the pontoons where the vast majority of boats are moored.
Soon had the right nets aboard and left the harbour just as the first cracks of dawn were breaking into the morning sky.
Conditions at sea were nigh on perfect with a flat sea and warm sunshine.
First nets up were the larger meshed nets aimed at Monkfish and spider crabs. The spider crabs become very entangled in the netting and it is a delicate operation to get them out in one piece. As the season progresses it is not uncommon to have a hundred or so of these crabs in these nets.
Around 5 minutes later the male spider crab is safely out of the net
Later on we hauled the nets which are aimed at Pollack and Cod which sadly largely missed out on the target species but they did catch quite a few Pouting. Pouting are great to eat and are usually used in fishcakes but the only problem for us being that sometimes when we land Pouting on Newlyn market they do not even sell!
Here's a nice 3kg Pollack coming aboard which was the last fish of the day.